Artists as Inspiration

I’ve always loved drawing and creating and plumbing the depths of my imagination. As artists, haven’t we all? But until the day I started painting, I didn’t realize the extent of the influence my favorite artists have on my muse. Some of them have indelibly stamped themselves into my brain. I think many of us have a few artists that really dig at us. In my case, those artists not only inspire me, but seeing what they could do made me plunge from the world of greyscale into the extra dimension of color. That fateful day was less than a year ago, but since then, I have learned far more about myself as an artist (and about my muses and influences) than I did in all the preceding years of drawing.

In the upcoming weeks and months, I’ll highlight some of those artists who have been hammering at my brain, with hopes that you’ll find something in their work to help motivate and teach you. I love these artists passionately, have their works on my walls, and drag all my houseguests around showing them the amazing concepts and brushwork, their eye-rolling notwithstanding.

Today, I’ll introduce you to Will Bullas. One of my first loves, Will was introduced to me by the Wenaha Gallery in Dayton, WA, my dad’s hometown. We visit each year, and when I was fairly young, we found Will’s “Duck Tape” in the gallery.

Duck Tape, Will Bullas

Is that not hilarious? I think they only had that one work at the time. Now Will has books and figurines, too… and has expanded his hilarity to all corners of the globe. His clever use of puns, ingenious use of expressions, and delicate technique (especially with watercolors) have never ceased to make me giggle with delight. He also makes my grandmother giggle, which pushes his esteem even higher in my book.

Get a load of some of these titles: Between the Sheeps, Crabernet, Even My Hare Hurts, Peanut Putter, Polar Beer, Rump Roost, The Nutquacker, Wine-oceros… the list goes on! And he has a few “serious” works, which are just as high in quality, if not giggles.

The Bar Bill, Will Bullas

(I have this print on my wall – he personalized it and signed it!)

When I started painting, people who knew me well noted that my concepts reminded them of Will Bullas. His influence on me is tremendous, and I think that will always come through in my painting. I’m not sure whether holding “A Fool and His Bunny” as the highest standard is noble or just silly, but I refuse to have it any other way.

Who influences and inspires you?

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